Representatives from Moldova and the European Union have signed a comprehensive air service agreement that will gradually integrate the republic into the European common aviation area.
Under the terms of the multilateral agreement, Moldova will harmonise its legislation with European standards by implementing EU aviation rules.
Regulatory changes will cover areas such as the environment, consumer protection, air traffic management, and competition issues, the European Commission says in a statement.
With the establishment of a common aviation area, all EU carriers will be able to operate direct flights to the republic from anywhere in the EU. The same applies in reverse to all Moldovan airlines, the largest of which is flag carrier Air Moldova.
Just 11 of the EU's 27 member states current have direct flight connections with Moldova - Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Siim Kallas, European Commission vice-president responsible for mobility and transport, says: "Today's agreement is very important for further strengthening the overall economic, trade and tourism relations between Moldova and the EU.
"It will open up and integrate the respective markets, strengthen cooperation and offer new opportunities for consumers and airlines."
The Commission received its mandate to negotiate a common aviation area with Moldova in June 2011.
The European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), signed in 2006, creates a single market between all 27 EU member states plus most neighbouring European countries. Separate agreements have also been signed with Morocco, Georgia and Jordan.